Available On: PC
Developer: Coven Games
Publisher: Coven Games
Genre: Horror, Indie, Action
Official Site: Witchkin
Release Date: October 13th, 2017 (Early Access)
Where to Buy: Steam ($14.99)
Does the thought of decaying teddy bear on wheels wearing a headset straight from the Saw films creep you out? How about a porcelain doll with unseeing eyes and a fork for a hand? Or the creepiest clown toy you can imagine with extendable arms? You can find all of this and more in Coven Games’ Witchkin. At the moment, the game is in early access, but it is a more than promising look at the hide-and-seek horror game to come!
Witchkin focuses on the legend of the Candy Lady straight out of Texas. This urban legend focuses on the children of a small Texas town who started to receive candy on their windowsills. After months of receiving candy, the children eventually received a note that simply read, “The Candy Lady”. When children started to disappear, this sweet boogeywomen quickly found the blame. The children were never found in addition to the strange happenings that began to happen around the town. In Witchkin, it is your job to rescue your sister from The Candy Lady and her possessed toys.
One thing that Witchkin excels in most is its atmosphere. So many horror games today rely on gore and shock when it comes to scares, but this game doesn’t need any of that. Its sepia tones combined with the old-timey film filter puts you in a horror movie straight from the 1930’s, and, awesomely enough, it holds the same fear, suspense, and tension. Not even your flashlight will make you feel safe as you’re endlessly stalked by toys possessed with the souls of other children.
And yes, you read that right. As you navigate through the floors of the Candy Lady’s home, you are constantly being stalked by a handful of toys. Each floor of the house has a toy dedicated to it. Trappy Bear is in the basement, Hooks the Clown is on the first floor, and Marcy currently resides on the second floor. These designs are truly terrifying, and you can tell that they were crafted with all of the horrifying dedication they deserve. While this is definitely one of the things that make Witchkin so interesting, the toys are also one of my main complaints.
The toys are pretty overpowered at the moment. Especially in the basement, I felt like Trappy Bear could almost see through walls. And once they found me, I felt like I just couldn’t get away from them. I’d duck through a hole to escape, and the toy hunting me would show up at the other end. This definitely heightens the fear factor of the game, but the one hit kills are quick to ruin that. The maps change, which is interesting, but with such quick deaths, it can become a bit frustrating to find the things you need to escape and progress through the game. That being said, it provides a challenging experience that holds on nicely to the players sense of dread.
Witchkin is a thoughtful, horror experience with wonderful design. It also brings some classic horror tropes into a new, interesting light, and the filters and colors of the game are unlike anything I’ve seen recently. This is a breath of fresh air compared to some of the more stereotypical indie horror titles out at the moment. The early access is definitely promising, and I can’t wait to see how the game will continue to develop. I mean, the game can only get better, and it is a pretty terrifying experience already.
This is the first project to come out of Coven Games, but they are starting out with a bang. This small development studio out of Austin, Texas is a one-man show. David Jennison, who you might recognize from Red vs. Blue, created and developed Witchkin on his own while Rachael Jennison handles the business side of things. Knowing that the game is created by one person only makes the experience even more impressive.
If you’d like to check it out for yourself, Witchkin has a free demo that you can download yourself on Steam. So, check it out and let us know what you think in the comments below! Make sure to keep an eye on The Nerd Stash for all of your Witchkin and indie game updates.
Verdict: Witchkin’s early access will definitely leave you wanting more. The toys are cleverly designed, while a bit overpowered at the moment, and the game’s atmosphere really heightens the tension. In a day and age full of gore and shock scares, Witchkin leaves its scares to the environment with its sepia tones and film filter. It feels like you’re in a horror movie straight from the 30’s, and it holds that same fear and suspense. All in all, Witchkin is something you should definitely check out!
Shelby loves horror, animals with short, stubby legs, and PlayStation exclusives. When she isn’t here writing, her nose is often stuck in a book or hacking people in Overwatch.